What We’re Into: Recommendations From Influential Austinites


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How Music Works by David Byrne

For the past few weeks I’ve been reading How Music Works by David Byrne. Even if you’re not a fan of The Talking Heads, you’ll find this almost scientific analysis of western music fascinating. Byrne narrates the effect of technology on music’s development and how it’s shaped his own work. He discusses music at a deep level without using jargon, keeping it a great read for anyone regardless of musical background. Byrne reveals how influence from things like Chinese Theatre or old field recordings pushed him into experimentation that rendered moments of genius creativity. If you’re at a point in your career where you need to take your craft to the next level, I highly recommend this book as a source of inspiration.

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Lambrusco : Your new favorite summer wine

Lambrusco has received a bad rap in the United States since a brand bastardized its name in the ’80s, but real Lambrusco is not only one of the most refreshing wines in the world, it’s a perfect partner with virtually any food on your table.

Lambrusco is the name of the grape, the wine and the wine region, all of which are centered around the town of Modena in Emilia-Romagna. This area is considered the “breadbasket of Italy” and known for such delicacies as Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and aged balsamic vinegar. The locals largely eat and drink only what is produced in the area – and with all these amazing foods, they’re enjoying Lambrusco.

There are several great examples out there, but one of my favorites is Cleto Chiarli “Vecchia Modena” Lambrusco. This summer, grab a bottle and some prosciutto, and head outdoors to a patio for an experience you will not forget. Salud!

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Kammok Roo Hammock

These days, I’ve really been into finding more ways to spend quality time outdoors, in search of relaxation and balance. I’m all about local companies, and my new favorite product is the Kammock Roo I got at Tyler’s. You can take this hammock wherever you go — it’s tiny and packs up to almost nothing. Bust it out at the park on in the backyard, and fall asleep surrounded by chirping birds and a warm Texas breeze. Even better, you can get the mosquito net that’s a must for true relaxation, because nobody is safe from critters and they do a number on your ability to find peace and fall asleep.

As the executive director of The Flatwater Foundation, we are always looking for ways to find inner calm, peace, and relaxation to support better mental health. A simple hammock and getting into the outdoors to connect is something we can all do. Even me, with my allergies and my asthma, I can still learn to enjoy the outdoors more and find new ways to create happiness.

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Derek on Netflix

I know I know, another “must see” British comedy. Hear me out. You’ve already come this far. Derek is one of the best shows on (Netflix) television.

Five reasons to start watching:

1. It’s only two seasons. That’s it. Then it’s all over. In a world of “I just jumped in—and I love it—but I need to spend the weekend catching up on the last five seasons,” it’s important to start on the bunny hill.
2. It will make you laugh.
3. It will make you cry.
4. Ricky Gervais is fantastic. He plays the show’s lead, Derek, an autistic nursing home caretaker who always chooses kindness and gratitude, whatever the cost. The show celebrates some of the least loved people in society and it offers hope in humanity.
5. But like #2 states, it’s just funny. It’s a show with depth, and it’s a show that leaves you feeling better after watching. Now knock it out this weekend.

James Petralli traveller_denim_citygram_austin

Traveller Denim

There’s this clothing company called, Traveller Denim and they’re awesome. They’ve got a little shop on the east side and they make custom jeans on those old-school Singer sewing machines. Their shop feels like a blast from the past.

Images: Traveller Denim (Dawson O’connor Smith)


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